Ambient Overkill

by Michael W B Posted on: 12/19/2019

Build Description

The system was originally built for benching in overclocking competitions, specifically for CPU and memory overclocking. It has since been used for general web browsing and gaming, with some performance tweaking going on every now and then when I get the urge. I can bench the delidded 8700k at 5.4ghz (Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut on the die) in Cinebench and my memory runs stable at DDR4 4000 C15-15-15-30 with a Command Rate of 2. tREFI at 65535 and tRFC at 300. Every single timing has been tightened to their limits, from primaries all the way down to the last tertiary timing. RTL and IO-L values have been manually dialed in to prevent the RAM from training outside of my specifications. Currently, the least impressive aspect of my system is the graphics card. It's a stock RTX 2080 Ti using a reference PCB and modded to use my old 1080 Ti FTW3 Hybrid cooler. Anything is possible with a rotary tool. I plan on using a custom Heatkiller Pro IV block to replace the FTW3 hybrid cooler and eventually mod the card to support a higher power limit through shunt mods.

My cooling solution is quite overkill, hence the name of this build. My CPU water block is a Heatkiller Pro IV. My loop has a massive 1260mm radiator with 18 Corsair ML140 fans in a push-pull configuration. My water never exceeds the ambient air temperature in my room. It's for this exact reason that I am able to bench my processor as high as 5.4ghz, and run at 5.1ghz stable under load. I use a standard EKWB D5 Liang pump which has a high enough flow rate to move the liquid through my radiator. To top everything off, I use a little pink desk fan to keep my motherboard VRM's cool under this heavy load. If it looks stupid but works, it's not stupid.

Favorite Feature

My favorite part of this build is by far the radiator. It's big, unsightly and demonstrates the purpose of my machine simply by looking in it's direction. When your radiator is just as big as your chassis, you know you are doing something right. I'll never need to worry about my cooling solution holding my components back, because that radiator will always have the thermal capacity to answer any of the hardware I throw at it. That peace of mind is invaluable when overclocking. My only gripe about it is the 18 fans that were attached to it, and the cable clutter that brings. I needed 3 fan splitter hubs to keep them all powered. In the future, I may consider swapping the 18 140mm fans for 8 200mm fans (4 on each side in push-pull). It will reduce my overall static pressure, but should help clean that clutter up to a single fan splitter and reduce noise tremendously.

Parts contained in build

Thermaltake Core P3 Tempered Glass ATX Mid-Tower Computer Case - Black
Thermaltake Case Core P3 Tempered Glass ATX Mid-Tower Computer Case - Black
Qty: 1 $139.99
I wanted a case that was easy to access as I change my platforms on a near yearly basis. This thing can be used vertically or horizontally as a test bench and is extremely modular. I highly recommend the use of a video guide for building it, as the instructions leave a lot to be desired. They include a bag of screws that are not marked, and the instructions do not specify which screws go where. Even for expert builders, it can be pretty confusing. Overall it's build quality is great and doesn't flinch despite the weight of my components attached to it.
EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G3 850 Watt 80 Plus Gold Modular ATX Power Supply
EVGA Power Supply SuperNOVA 850 G3 850 Watt 80 Plus Gold Modular ATX Power Supply
Qty: 1 $179.99
EVGA Black Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Dual-Fan 11GB GDDR6 PCIe Video Card
EVGA Video Card Black Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Dual-Fan 11GB GDDR6 PCIe Video Card
Qty: 1 $1,069.99
A great value, but be warned. This card uses the 300(Non-A) die revision, which prevents any custom VBIOS from raising the power limit. You will be limited to 112% power limit, which may limit your overclocking abilities. My card maxes out around 2000mhz under load while some of the other cards can reach 2100-2175.
EKWB CryoFuel Pre-Mixed Coolant 1000 ml - Clear
EKWB Water Cooling Accessories CryoFuel Pre-Mixed Coolant 1000 ml - Clear
Qty: 2 $17.99
Bitspower G 1/4" Straight Compression Fitting - Silver
Bitspower Water Cooling Accessories G 1/4" Straight Compression Fitting - Silver
Qty: 6 $9.99
PrimoChill PrimoFlex 3/8" (10 mm)  x 1/2" (13 mm) Advanced LRT Tubing 10 ft. - Crystal Clear
PrimoChill Water Cooling Accessories PrimoFlex 3/8" (10 mm) x 1/2" (13 mm) Advanced LRT Tubing 10 ft. - Crystal Clear
Qty: 1 $31.99
EKWB EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 PWM Water Cooling Pump and Reservoir
EKWB Water Cooling Accessories EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 PWM Water Cooling Pump and Reservoir
Qty: 1 $169.99
The tried and true D5 Liang pump. No concerns with flow rate thanks to this bad boy.
EKWB EK-UNI Pump Mounting Bracket Vertical
EKWB Water Cooling Accessories EK-UNI Pump Mounting Bracket Vertical
Qty: 1 $14.99
Bitspower G 1/4" Mini Valve - Matte Black
Bitspower Water Cooling Accessories G 1/4" Mini Valve - Matte Black
Qty: 1 $24.99
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 32-bit/64-bit English USB
Microsoft Operating System Windows 10 Pro 32-bit/64-bit English USB
Qty: 1 $199.99
Logitech G PRO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - GX Blue Clicky
Logitech G Keyboard PRO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - GX Blue Clicky
Qty: 1 $129.99
My first ever mechanical keyboard. I didn't believe the hype until I got one of these.
Logitech G G703 LIGHTSPEED RGB Wireless Optical Gaming Mouse - Black
Logitech G Mouse G703 LIGHTSPEED RGB Wireless Optical Gaming Mouse - Black
Qty: 1 $99.99
I don't know why I bought a wireless mouse only to keep it tethered to my system using a cable, but the weight and shape feel right in my hand.
Corsair ML140 Magnetic Levitation 140mm Case Fan - Twin Pack
Corsair Case Fans ML140 Magnetic Levitation 140mm Case Fan - Twin Pack
Qty: 9 $44.99
They can move some air... Especially when you have 18 of them running at their highest RPM. I have a genuine fear that my radiator will take flight if it tips horizontally.
 Intel Core i7 8700K
Intel Core i7 8700K
Qty: 1 $279.99
CPU is delidded and has Thermal Grizzly Cryonaut on the die. IHS has been removed and is mounted direct-die using a Rockit Cool direct die frame.
 ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming K6
ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming K6
Qty: 1 $159.99
Not the greatest board for overclocking, but the VRM's are solid and will hold me off until next gen.
 Patriot Viper Steel 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 4400 PVS416G440C9K
Patriot Viper Steel 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 4400 PVS416G440C9K
Qty: 2 $129.99
Cheapest B-Die I could find at the time. 4 DIMM's means I am using a 2DPC configuration. Harder to overclock, but offers slightly higher benching scores in a T-Topology board design.
 MO-RA3 420 Pro Stainless Steel 1260mm Radiator
MO-RA3 420 Pro Stainless Steel 1260mm Radiator
Qty: 1 $280.00
Manufactured by Watercool, not carried in the US. Supports 18 140mm fans in push-pull or 8 200mm fans in push-pull
 MO-RA3 420 Blende Classic Stainless Steel Side Panel
MO-RA3 420 Blende Classic Stainless Steel Side Panel
Qty: 2 $40.00
Manufactured by Watercool, not carried in the US. Great aesthetic, however it's real purpose is to keep me from sticking my fingers into some maxed out Corsair Maglev fans.
 HEATKILLER® IV PRO (INTEL processor) BLACK COPPER Water Block
HEATKILLER® IV PRO (INTEL processor) BLACK COPPER Water Block
Qty: 1 $95.00
Manufactured by Watercool. By far my favorite CPU block that I have ever used. Easy to install, fantastic even mounting pressure, and doesn't require any lapping due to insanely tight machining tolerances.
 Dell S2417DG 24 inch 165hz G-Sync Monitor
Dell S2417DG 24 inch 165hz G-Sync Monitor
Qty: 1 $349.99
Best G-Sync monitor for TN panels. Hands down the best in it's price range, and competes with higher end TN panels. 165hz, G-Sync, options for lightboost. It's got it all.